Two years into what feels like an endless pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccination levels are rising, Omicron will likely bring about herd immunity (albeit not without a painful surge), and countries are slowly beginning to open their borders. If we are lucky, 2022 might just be the year everything gets back to some semblance of normalcy—and for a lot of us, that means chasing waves after being stuck at home for the past two years.
A new year is also an opportunity to try new things. As borders open and we begin considering destinations for our next surf trips, this is a great opportunity to branch out and go somewhere different.
Here’s a list of five new surf trips for the new year. While they aren’t exactly uncharted territory, they tend to fly beneath the radar and get looked over by most people hunting waves. Whether they are cold, fickle, or simply living in the shadow of famous neighbours, these areas are still holding fun waves and unique adventures that make them worthy of a visit. All we have to do is look a bit farther afield.
When people think of surfing in Ecuador (and not many do), they typically think of the famous archipelago that lies just off the country’s coast. But while the Galapagos Islands do indeed have waves, the mainland is the more consistent surf destination, with a number of quality right-hand point breaks and hollow beach breaks. Best of all, the country is situated directly on the equator (hence the name), so it picks up both north swell during the winter and south during the summer months.
Spot Guide, HERE.
Another cold-water surf zone that flies beneath the radar, Denmark is home to the coastal town of Klitmoller on North Jutlandic Island, otherwise known as “Cold Hawaii.” While the waves aren’t exactly epic (or even very big), the region has a thriving surf, kiting, and windsurfing scene, complete with surf schools, surf shops, and annual contests.
Set in a region called Thy that has been made into a national park, the Klitmoller area is beautiful and naturally diverse, with excellent hiking, biking, and birdwatching, in addition to the surf. Throw in a dash of Nordic culture and the froth of the local community, and you have a legitimate, unique surf experienced.
There's also surf around Bornholm Island too. See HERE.
Located off the coast of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe is a small Central African island nation with friendly locals, colourful culture, and a smattering of quality point breaks, in addition to reefs and river-mouth sand bars.
The surf population is relatively small, but the water is warm and the local wave riders are stoked and motivated. Situated on the Equator, Sao Tome typically gets pretty small waves due to swell decay, but the variety and setting more than make up for the lack of size.
There’s even a left called Point Zero that literally lies directly on the Equator, which makes for a unique surfing experience. For those looking to explore an island they’ve never seen and likely never heard of, and to score fun waves with happy locals in the process, you can do a lot worse than the “Chocolate Islands."
When it comes to picturesque lineups with cold-water waves set against stunning backdrops, it’s hard to beat Canada’s eastern province of Nova Scotia. The region is beautiful and uncrowded, and its rugged landscape, fickle temperament, and frigid waters simply add to the adventure.
Keep an eye on the are, HERE.
Often overshadowed by South Pacific neighbors such as Fiji, Tahiti, and even nearby Samoa, Tonga is a legitimate surf destination in its own right. The Polynesian country might not have a marquee, household-name spot like Cloudbreak or Teahupoo, but with three island groups and hundreds of reefs, it has its fair share of waves, many of which break off the coast of an established surf camp. Tonga is also well-known for its world-class sailing and the opportunity to dive with humpback whales, making it a great option for a diverse adventure experience.